Christmas Movies 2012 – Guide12.12.12 # Christmas Movies # 7 Comments
Let’s have a look at the movies on wide release over Christmas 2012. As festive seasons go, it’s surprising to find there’s only one that’s (vaguely) Christmas themed. Still there’s lots of cracking fun to be had.
Here are the biggest and best movies of Christmas 2012.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney
Director: Sam Mendes
Daniel Craig’s third outing sees Bond question his loyalty to M when her past actions bring serious consequences to the present. After MI6 itself is attacked, he must seek out and eliminate the threat. Bardem plays the villain. Young Ben Whishaw is the new Q. Sam Mendes (‘American Beauty’, ‘Jarhead’) directs from a script by Wade and Purvis, who’ve been the main writers on every Bond since TWINE. ‘Quantum’ was a stumble from ‘Casino Royale’, replacing freshness with formula, but here they’re back with a bang. Reviews have been excellent (we gave it an ‘A’), with some proclaiming it’s the best Bond ever made. This is also the 50th anniversary of Dr. No and the franchise.
Starring: (voices) John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman
Director: Rich Moore
Wreck-It Ralph (Reilly) is an arcade video game “bad guy”, who has played the same thankless role since the 80’s. Determined to prove he can be good, he escapes his game cabinet into more recent ones, including Hero’s Duty, a light-gun shooter similar to Halo, and a Mario-Kart style racing game. There he learns of a dire threat that could affect the entire arcade, one that he may have inadvertently started. This is Disney’s ode to videogames, filled with nods to actual games, and cameos from actual game characters past and present. Critics say it’s inventive and entertaining, a joy both to younger viewers and to older audiences who can appreciate the nostalgic references.
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones
Director: Steven Spielberg
Based on a recent biography, this drama focuses on the last few months of Lincoln’s life, the ending of slavery and the Union victory in the Civil War. Specifically it’s the story of the very close vote in the House of Representatives over the 13th Amendment that permanently ended that slavery. It’s “Lincoln at work, not just Lincoln standing around posing for the history books…arguably the greatest working President in American history doing some of the greatest work for the world,” says Spielberg. Critics say it’s an absorbing, intellectual look at the political battle involved in abolishing slavery, with a towering central performance. This is a strong Oscar contender, with Day-Lewis aiming at another Best Actor win.
Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Domhnall Gleeson
Director: Joe Wright
Anna Karenina (Knightley) has an affair with a dashing young Count (Johnson) who wants her to leave her stable husband (Law). Based on Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, this has ‘Shakespeare In Love’ writer ‘Tom Stoppard’ penning the screenplay and ‘Atonement’ director Joe Wright. A key difference between this and earlier cinematic versions is it’ll concentrate less on the title character and more on creating a portrait of a community. Much of the Russian melodrama’s power was in its ability to shock but today having an affair isn’t nearly so daring or scandalous. Still if it’s an epic love story you’re looking for, this is it. Critics are generally positive, saying it hits the necessary notes of sexuality and grief, although sometimes the beautiful stylisation overcomes everything else.
Life of Pi
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Gerard Depardieu
Director: Ang Lee
Fantasy-drama based on the 2001 Booker Prize winning novel about a 16-year who survives a shipwreck to be stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a ferocious Bengal tiger. Their epic journey of adventure and discovery leads them to form an unexpected connection. The movie has a risky production budget of $120 million, which pays, in part, for a cgi tiger that sets a new standard in animal realism. Critics say Ang Lee’s movie poses complex philosophical questions while being visually wondrous and a storytelling triumph.
Rise Of The Guardians
Starring: (voices) Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, Isla Fisher, Jude Law
Directors: Peter Ramsey, William Joyce
A group of guardians – Santa Claus (Baldwin), Easter Bunny (Jackman), Jack Frost (Pine), Sandman and Tooth Fairy (Fisher) – join forces to stop the Boogeyman (Law) from replacing the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children with fear and bringing the world into total darkness. The movie is being co-directed by the man behind ‘Meet The Robinsons’, and the author of ‘The Guardians Of Childhood’ book series on which it is based. Critics say it’s a vividly animated action-comedy with enough humorous moments and wonder to potentially turn it into a kids’ favourite – even if the plotline is frenetic and a bit uninspired.